U.S. Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium
The Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC) is an industry-led consortium for cooperative R&D among industry, university, and government partners to accelerate the development, commercialization, and manufacturing of next-generation solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Through its programs and advanced manufacturing development facilities, PVMC is a proving ground for innovative solar technologies and manufacturing processes.
PVMC was chartered as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) SunShot Initiative, which is designed to reduce the cost of photovoltaic solar energy systems by about 75 percent over the next decade.
PVMC shares the DOE’s goals of reducing the cost of solar energy and driving to grid parity by 2020, advancing large-scale U.S. solar manufacturing, boosting American competitiveness, and driving the deployment of clean, renewable energy.
PVMC’s goal is to increase the performance and speed the implementation of PV technologies—especially copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin film technologies—while improving manufacturing processes and driving down costs. Key components of PVMC include:
- Collaborative R&D programs to address common, pre-competitive infrastructure needs in CIGS technology and manufacturing
- Advanced Manufacturing Development Facilities to speed development and scale-up of CIGS materials, processes, equipment, facilities, and products
- CIGS roadmap and standards to align and streamline industry research, development, and manufacturing
- Metrology and new wafering methodologies
- Support to the industry in testing and reliability, balance of system, technology commercialization, and workforce development
With leadership from SEMATECH and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany, support and participation from over 40 companies and organizations from throughout the solar community, and over $300 million in projected state, federal, and industry funding, PVMC is well positioned to provide significant, positive and sustainable impact on the growth of the U.S. PV industry.
PVMC is leading a groundbreaking paradigm that will catalyze the 21st century solar PV industry, developing and commercializing innovations in CIGS thin film technology to enhance performance and reliability while reducing the cost of manufacturing. This unique effort builds on the approach successfully demonstrated in the semiconductor industry, through the powerful combination of SEMATECH’s collaborative industry consortium model and CNSE’s public-private partnerships and unparalleled infrastructure.
The PVMC partners—including the DOE, SEMATECH, CNSE, and organizations and companies representing the R&D community (universities, national and industry labs), equipment, materials and metrology suppliers, module producers and integrators, and end users—are providing the knowledge, experience and critical mass needed to help align and unify the industry and propel it forward.
To promote this integration and collaboration of key players from across the spectrum of the PV industry, PVMC offers several tiers of participation, from full membership in all activities, to program area participation, to participation in selected custom activities.
- Core members: U.S. PV manufacturing and supply chain companies that participate in the full program set and the operations of the consortium, and have access to all common/pre-competitive program results
- Associate and sub-program members: PV manufacturing and supply chain companies that participate in select cell and module development, tool infrastructure, benchmarking, manufacturing productivity, or other consortium programs
- Multi-User/Incubation Participants: Industry partners, start-up companies, national labs, and universities (collectively “users”) that access the PVMC facilities as part of a proprietary program or on an individual, fee-for-service basis
Depending on their level of engagement, members have the opportunity to participate in the consortium’s technical and business decision-making through various levels of advisory groups, drive the direction of program activities and set key milestones and place their employees on assignment inside PVMC programs.
Members also have shared access to world-class facilities, tools, and talent at CNSE’s state-of-the-art Albany NanoTech Complex and other partner sites.
Visit the PVMC website to learn more.